Healing This Heart

I’ve been home for a month to the day, and I owe the blog an update… especially since the last few posts were hardly cheeriest.

If anyone has gotten tired of me constantly proclaiming how happy I am to be home, they’ve been very kind, and very patient. Haha. I have stopped asking, “Why did I ever leave?” because Kuya replies, “Yeah, really; why did you??” But as I’ve hashed out with Alise and acknowledged to others, of course He brought good out of it all – insofar as I was open to it – and ultimately, what does matter is that I’m home now, and doing my absolute very best not to take a split second of it for granted. I came to the conclusion that it would just be awkward if I went around to people saying, “I’m sorry if I’ve ever taken you for granted,” so I’ve settled for variations of, “I’ve missed you.”

I was sitting around at Domus one night last week, giggling uncontrollably, and Annie said that if I hadn’t been all happy like that in MI, it would have been a crime.

I plead guilty.

The wounds of anger, stress, and loneliness have, I think, closed up completely and have scarred over. They’re not fading as quickly as the six new physical scars that I came home with, but love, and prayer, and plenty of sleep have been working wonders in me.

At choir, Rebecca asks what the best part of my day/week has been, and then tells me I can’t use the trump card – Mass. I think I might have mentioned months ago that Marty and I were talking about how Fr. Grogan spoils us [with orthodoxy]; truly, the best thing so far about being home is that today makes three-point-five weeks straight of daily Mass, followed by Morning Prayer with Father and Marty. Friday’s second reading was epic, btw.

Sharing a room with Yena has been the biggest change, and I honestly don’t think that I was mature enough to do it before. I’m glad that the opportunity came up, and it’s turning out to be very, very good for me. I can’t believe that she’s going to be a teenager in a few months! She’s got a better handle on style than I ever have, and she’s so beautiful. I have my sticks and stars ready =)

Nino has definitely become much more affectionate, and I’m constantly being showered with hugs. He insists on hugs when I get home and when I leave, and will randomly come up to me multiple times a day just for a quick one.

The big news is that last Thursday, I went from zero jobs to two. I told Kuya last night that I had been a little worried that my patience would wear out before God got around to answering prayers – but it didn’t! and His faithfulness sure is a lot easier to truly appreciate when your appreciation isn’t bogged down by the shame of remembered impatience. Hah! Now to continue to try to learn patience in other areas…

But I digress. I had met with Tita Doris and Tita Cynthia on Wednesday, and had consequently been booked, but not for another month and then some. When I went to grab a drink with Miguel on Thursday, it turned out that he had brought me in to pull me into the kitchen, and to make known to me that the exec chef was someone that I hadn’t seen or thought of since we graduated from MCI together. It’s not the fine dining we were trained for, but then neither was lunch at The Garden Cafe; and it makes all the difference in the world to be back in a kitchen with people I already know, and love, and trust completely. Within two hours, we’d caught up some, gone on a tour of the Brazenhead, I’d filled out an application, and I was told to come in on Monday.

Being back in the kitchen with Miguel and Scott is too much fun. And that same night that I was hired, I got a text requesting a private dinner party on Sunday, which went quite smoothly. I have a job, and I have a business! Such beautiful madness.

FUS says that I shouldn’t have to wait more than another week to know if I’m also a grad student now. Haha. I suppose He had His reasons for the mix-up with my application; it’s obviously just as well that I didn’t start grad school last month, what with life-changing decisions and leaps of faith to be made.

Nate and I have been at phone tag again for about a month now. Phone tag has such an interesting effect on a body; it’s always slightly distressing to miss, or be missed, again, but even just seeing the missed call notification, with or without an accompanying voicemail message, is a beautiful reminder of the existence of a Real Friend. And it’s 2014, which means we’ve been at this friendship stuff for just a little over nine years! And I caught Michelle on the phone for a few minutes last week, and we’re past fifteen years; how epic is that?

Boo, I’m not done unpacking. I know, I know; bad girl. But boy, have I been keeping busy in a million other ways!!! I’ve missed how easy it is to have adventures in Cinci, so, naturally, I’ve been playing catch-up with all sorts of places and people…

  • 9/15 – Sitwell’s, much-needed dinner and catch-up with Marty
    • Taqueria Mercado, post-vigil drinks & chit-chat with the GCYAL
  • 9/17 – El Rancho Grande, lunch with Miguel…
    • and The Dingle House for post-lunch drinks
    • La Poste, dinner with Marybeth, finally!
  • 9/18 – Ruah Woods, banquet with the SSP
  • 9/20 – Renaissance Festival, 4.5 hours of weapons and such with mostly Keith, Ray, and Travis
    • OKTOBERFEST!!! with Mary, Audrey, and Annmarie
    • shamelessly, shamelessly somewhere in Clifton for Cory’s Homecoming afterparty even though I didn’t go to the Homecoming game…
  • 9/22 – Tavern on the Hill, post-vigil dinner & drinks with the GCYAL
  • 9/23 – the new Domus Damascus! post-choir practice catch-up, lots of hugs, a coffee concoction courtesy of Andrew, and of course, The Office
  • 9/24 – Holy Hour & Adoration
  • 9/25 – Theology on Tap, Dayton with Jacob, Sam, and Aaron
  • 9/26 – Bonfire at Mary’s!!!
  • 9/27 – Straits of Malacca, lunch with Jason…
    • aaanddd The Brass Tap for post-lunch drinks on their 1 year anniversary/birthday
    • Easter Rising at St. Susanna’s!!
  • 9/29 – The Brass Tap, post-vigil drinks with the GCYAL
  • 10/01 – Old St. Mary’s, Young Adult Oratory with Mike and GCYAL friends
  • 10/02 – Cincinnati Right to Life, banquet with UC, NKU, and GCYAL
  • 10/04 – Sacred Heart, Confession
    • Findlay Market, lunch with Rebecca & Jackie…
    • and then Spring Grove to walk off the food…
    • and then dinner at the CFTA festival…
    • and then coffee at Highland…
    • and finally, touring and treats at Jungle Jim’s
  • 10/06 – Lime Fresh, dinner with the GCYAL
  • 10/07 – Sidewinder, Mass & Morning Prayer & breakfast with Marty & Ashley
    • Via Vite, catch-up with Steffy
    • Lepanto party at Domus Dominae!!!!!
  • 10/08 – Noodles & Co., lunch and business meeting with Tita Doris & Tita Cynthia
    • Holy Hour & Adoration
    • Graeter’s! with Yena, Fr. Grogan, Marty, Ashley, Andrew, Nate, Erin, Annie, Rebecca, Grace, Andrew, Brian, and Gabe
  • 10/09 – Brazenhead, catching up & job stuffsss with Miguel and Scott
    • GCYAL, 40DFL extra vigil shift
  • 10/10 – Domus Damascus, SSP game night!
    • Listermann’s, Craft Beer Oktoberfest with Pat, Mary, and Annmarie
  • 10/11 – Fountain Square, Rosary Crusade with the GCYAL
    • Listermann’s again! with Erin and Rebecca this time…
    • Molly Malone’s, Easter Rising concert!!!
  • 10/12 – my first private dinner gig thingy xD
    • Bonfire at Meg & Abby’s!
  • 10/13 – my first day at Brazenhead!!
    • Moerlein Lager House, post-vigil with the GCYAL
    • The Banks =) with Abby, Meg, Ava, Julie, and Andrew
  • 10/14 – planning meeting for the St. Nicholas Advent Village
  • 10/15 – day two at Brazenhead =)

Sigh. Thank you, Cinci, for loving me even though I didn’t always love you.

Hopefully the fact that my piece, “Cincinnati ~ Kitchen Heart,” is being published, will make up for it a little.

Here’s to home.


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